Engineers slash RPO/RTO as they swap tape for Rubrik backup

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Kent-based construction design consultancy Frankham Group has ditched tape-based backup and deployed Rubrik appliances in a move that has seen it slash data restores from days to hours and gain the use of full disaster recovery (DR) provision when needed.

The Sidcup-based company – which is considering a move to cloud-based IT (see box) – has 200 employees and four sites including its HQ-based datacentre, from where it runs a Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure and a suite of Autodesk and Trimble design applications, as well as office products based around Microsoft 365.

About 50% of the company’s teams need to collaborate on design applications, while surveyors tend to use less resource-hungry products.

Previously, backup software was provided by Veritas and was tape-based in terms of media. Tapes had to be taken to a second site in Haywards Heath, around 40 miles away, where they were kept and from where restores took place via previously used but end-of-life vSphere virtual servers.

Andy White, group IT director at Frankham, said: “By the time tapes had been taken to Haywards Heath and restored, it was four or five days behind. We never had data available that was recently saved.”

Also, said White, the integrity of backups was never really confirmed, and in some cases, tapes didn’t get to the second site unless a member of staff happened to be going there, which was a risk because it meant production and backup copies were at the same site. Additionally, the nodes from which data was restored were old and unreliable.

To address this, Frankham Group embarked on the deployment of Rubrik backup software and appliances plus disaster recovery failover to its backup partner’s site, Assured Data Protection in Leeds.

Rubrik appliances are deployed as 2U 20TB nodes at Sidcup with nightly backups. Thereafter, a synch to Assured’s infrastructure takes place. Regular testing of the DR capability is also carried out.

Key benefits for White are peace of mind and the rapidity and reliability of restores.

“We now have no worries about whether backups are working,” said White. “Often previously backups were not verified. Now our partner monitors backups and the capacity needed to keep them and we can get daily reports on each server. We also have the flexibility to back up from an entire server down to virtual machines and drives.”

White said recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) had been slashed from up to a week down to a few hours, and that the DR suite could be spun up in a few hours if needed.


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